At least four Cabinet members brought wives in Israel, but Palace denies big delegation
At least four Cabinet officials have brought with them their respective wives in President Rodrigo Duterte's official visit to Israel.
In a speech with the Filipino community in Jerusalem shortly after his arrival there on Sunday (local time), Duterte acknowledged the presence of the wives of his Cabinet officials.
He first recognized Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano, wife of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.
The lady mayor is present in almost all the President's foreign trips.
Duterte also acknowledged the presence of Maria Medialdea, wife of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea; Edith Lorenzana, wife of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana; and Mylah Roque, wife of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
It was not sure who shouldered the expenses for the spouses of the Cabinet officials in the presidential trip.
In a statement, Roque, however, denied the reports in Israel that the number of the President's delegation reached to about 400.
"The total number of official delegates and accompanying delegates consists of 46 pax total. That's in the official list," he said.
Roque added that there were at least 150 individuals from the business delegation who are all traveling on their own accounts.
"Not sure where figure of 400 came from," he said.
Duterte earlier said that he would bring with him retiring police and military officials as his "gift" for them.
Malacanang has not released the official list of those included in the presidential trip to Israel.
After Israel, Duterte will proceed to Jordan. Celerina Monte/DMS